competitive players enter the court for their match with little or no thought
to conditions of the weather, courts, and type of ball. IF CONDITIONS ARE NOT IDEAL, LOSERS
COMPLAIN AND WINNERS ADJUST!
difference in surfaces can prevent unnecessary frustration.
- On outdoor courts there can be big differences in the bounce
of the ball. A rougher surface is
described as “slow”, and will cause the ball to slow after the bounce and at
times it will set up for the hit. This
requires awareness that you will need to move closer to the bounce in order to
hit the shot with optimum balance and control.
A smoother surface, described as “fast”, can cause the ball to actually
skid off the bounce and stay lower. This
requires that you will need to allow a greater distance between the bounce and
your contact with the hit. Balls most
often used on outdoor courts will be a relatively hard surface with small holes
to reduce the affects of wind. Cold
weather will increase the pace of the ball, and warm weather will slow the
- Indoor courts are usually a wooden gymnasium surface, and
will often be much faster than outdoor courts.
For this reason, there are balls designed specifically with softer
surfaces and larger holes to reduce the speed off the bounce.
- Windy conditions require more rapid footwork, and choosing
larger targets for your shots. Be aware
of the wind direction when selecting which end of the court you want to start
the match. If it is a side wind, I will
prefer to start on the end which blows toward my forehand (simply because I
have more reach with my forehand). This
choice puts my opponents on the end where the wind will be blowing the ball
toward and away from their backhand, where they have less reach. Also keep in mind whether you and your
opponents are right-handed or left-handed.
If it is blowing in the direction of the court, most players will choose
to play with the wind rather than against it; but I find that the soft game is
easier when playing against the wind.
This should depend on personal preference of you and your partner.
that you have properly prepared for the conditions of your match, it’s time to
“size up your opponents.”This will be
the focus of next month’s TIP